This, just below, from the Government’s own propaganda machine, is nice, it’s actually a good thing, the right thing to be doing … but when you read the whole “blurb” you begin to see that this government is doing the right thing but for all the wrong reasons:
The purpose of the defence budget should be to provide Canadians with the military forces they need to protect and promote their vital interests, at home and abroad, at the best possible price.
Now, I am happy to concede that maintaining a defence industrial base that provides good, well paying jobs for Canadians is one of our interests, even, perhaps a vital one, but the emphasis has shifted too far away from “providing them [the Canadian Armed Forces] the equipment they need” and too far towards measures to “support Canadian manufacturing, innovation skills and economic development, and create good, well paying jobs in the middle class.” What I’m not happy about is that there is, and this began decades ago, too much partisan, re-election campaign style politics and not enough strategic planning in our defence procurement regime.
I do not begrudge Defence Minister Sajjan and a few of his (far too many) generals and colonels a photo-op, but I would rather that the minister, surrounded by smiling supporters, announced a long term plan, with budget numbers, to keep that Army fully mobile: from upgraded LAVs for the front line infantry through to heavy lift cargo trucks for the 2nd and 3rd line support units.
The Navy, Army and Air Force all need equipping and re-equipping and “right-equipping,” too, and each service, and the joint national support base, has too many requirements chasing too few dollars. Each dollar in the defence budget needs to be spent, primarily, for military value: “bang for the buck.” When the most “bang for the back” can be best bought in Canada then that’s a bonus, but spending money to create (or sustain) jobs is not the best use of the defence budget.